Letter to National Olympic Committees

Name of President or General Secretary
National Olympic Committee [COUNTRY]
Address
eMail



Fukushima – Olympic Summer Games in Japan

Date

Dear TITLE AND NAME,

As you know, the Olympic Summer Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020. Athletes and Olympic Committees around the world are preparing for this event.

We write to you today as representatives of the International Campaign "Tokyo 2020 – the Radioactive Olympics" (www.radioactive-olympics.org) in order to inform you of our evaluation of the special situation in Japan resulting from multiple nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima in March of 2011.

The Olympic Games were awarded to Tokyo on the basis of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assurance to the International Olympic Committee that the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima would be under control.

The reality on the ground speaks a different story, however. Until today, the ruins of the nuclear reactors have to be continually cooled by injecting hundreds of tons of cooling water into them from external sources each day. Inside the reactor cores, radiation levels are still too high even for special robots to function. Undetected leaks still remain, so that contaminated waste water continues to seep into the groundwater and the adjacent sea. The rest of the water is collected and stored in giant tanks on the premises of the power plant. It was planned to simply discard the waste water into the Pacific Ocean, but recent revelations concerning high concentrations of radioactive strontium and other toxic isotopes have put this into question.

In December of 2018, Fukushima Medical University published the latest results of their ongoing thyroid examinations on citizens of Fukushima Prefecture, who were under the age of 18 at the time of the nuclear meltdowns. Similar to the situation in areas affected by the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, the examinations in Fukushima revealed increased rates of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents with the second and third screening rounds (2014-2018) showing incidence rates of thyroid cancer in Fukushima children 15 times higher than the Japanese average.

Meanwhile, every storm spreads radioactive particles from the affected mountains and forests to the surrounding countryside, including cities and villages that have already been painstakingly decontaminated.

Now the government is trying to coerce people into returning to the decontaminated areas. In March of 2019, the authorities intend on terminating financial aid granted to nuclear refugees and to end their temporary housing.

In October of 2018, Baskut Tuncak, UN Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes, briefed the UN General Assembly about the perturbing situation in Fukushima. He called on the Japanese government to halt the relocation of children and women to areas of Fukushima where radiation levels remain higher than those considered to be safe or healthy before the nuclear disaster took place. He also specifically criticised Japanese authorities for raising the “acceptable” level of radiation exposure to 20 times higher than previously accepted. He particularly highlighted the potentially severe impact of excessive radiation on the health and wellbeing of children.

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) have also repeatedly warned of unacceptable health consequences on the Japanese population.

We wish to initiate a dialogue on these topics with you, as the head of the National Olympic Committee [Country], and discuss with you our concerns regarding the ongoing nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

We believe that athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Japan should receive thorough and accurate briefings on the current situation and resulting potential health threats, especially concerning plans to hold baseball and softball tournaments in Fukushima City.

We hope to hear from you soon,

Respectfully yours,


NAME, Institution
olympics2020@ippnw.de
www.radioactive-olympics.org

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